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Open Access Research article

The MB2 gene family of Plasmodium species has a unique combination of S1 and GTP-binding domains

Lisa C Romero1, Thanh V Nguyen2, Benoit Deville3, Oluwasanmi Ogunjumo1 and Anthony A James14*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-3900, USA

2 The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

3 Biomérieux, 69280 Marcy L'Etoile, FRANCE

4 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697 USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2004, 5:83  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-5-83

Published: 28 June 2004



Identification and characterization of novel Plasmodium gene families is necessary for developing new anti-malarial therapeutics. The products of the Plasmodium falciparum gene, MB2, were shown previously to have a stage-specific pattern of subcellular localization and proteolytic processing.


Genes homologous to MB2 were identified in five additional parasite species, P. knowlesi, P. gallinaceum, P. berghei, P. yoelii, and P. chabaudi. Sequence comparisons among the MB2 gene products reveal amino acid conservation of structural features, including putative S1 and GTP-binding domains, and putative signal peptides and nuclear localization signals.


The combination of domains is unique to this gene family and indicates that MB2 genes comprise a novel family and therefore may be a good target for drug development.